With dozens of brands and hundreds of products on dispensary shelves, medical marijuana has become Missouri’s quickest-growing industry. In Manufacturing Success, a short-form q&a series, Greenway looks to highlight and introduce the companies and individuals that turn cannabis plants into the medical products helping to propel the success of the cannabis industry.
For many Missouri-bred industry leaders, the idea of working in marijuana was a far-fetched dream, unless they were willing to move far from home. For Seth Galusha, Director of Edible Production at Nuthera Labs, it’s a dream come true.
In this edition of Manufacturing Success, the Kansas City native talks about creating unique goods for a house of brands in a highly competitive market.
Galusha brings a background as a professional chocolatier, a passion for innovation, and a knowledge base built on experimenting with learned information to the kitchens at Nuthera Labs. In doing so, he has helped to create some of the state’s most recognizable edibles brands alongside the company’s highly regarded concentrate brands.
The Nuthera Labs house of brands includes Panda Chocolates, Panda Fruits, Medusa, Infinity, and Indi. With a canopy of brands, the manufacturing company touches on the hallmarks of cannabis infusion and extraction with a bevy of product offerings tailored to fit the consistency of each brand. That variety and consistency of quality across brands is reflected in the diversity of the company’s two most popular products, Infinity Concentrates and Panda Fruits.
Seth Galusha | Nuthera Labs
To start the conversation we asked Galusha to give us a rundown of the Nuthera Labs brands, and products produced under each line.
Panda Fruits is our gummy brand made with real fruit puree and all vegan ingredients. We feature a variety of infusion styles and flavors to choose from:
FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil)-
Mango Punch (sativa) 100mg
Strawberry Lemonade (hybrid) 100mg
Mixed Berry (indica) 100mg & 300mg
Watermelon Agave (sativa) 100mg & 300mg
Raspberry Limade (Hybrid) 100mg
Blueberry Bliss (indica) 100mg
NANO (Fast Acting)
Cosmo Pom 100mg
Lime Mojito 100mg
Strawberry Cheesecake 100mg & 300mg
A Bright Summer Treat with creamy White Chocolate and real Strawberries in every bite!
Milk Chocolate 100mg & 300mg
Top Quality, West-African Forastero Bean, Milk Chocolate
Cookies and Creme 100mg & 300mg
Premium White Chocolate and Crunchy Cookie Crumbs take this classic candy bar to the next level!
Chocolate Milkshake 100mg & 300mg
This Original bar is a malted blend of rich Milk Chocolate and luscious Caramelized White Chocolate.
Medusa is our Top Shelf chocolate brand. We use top quality single origin chocolate, selected to highlight the flavor of the inclusions. Gourmet chocolate bars, bonbons and unique confections will all be housed under this brand.
Maple Bourbon – 200mg
Pecans embedded in Rich Maple with a Bourbon kick.
Hazelnut Crunch – 200mg
Smooth Milk Chocolate and Gianduja studded with crunchy hazelnut noisettes.
Dark Chocolate Citrus 2:1 CBD/THC 400mg CBD:200mg THC
Bitter 70% Dark Chocolate infused with Citrus Extracts and Candied Orange Peels.
Indi is a flavored distillate vape brand. This popular product is produced to the same high standards as the rest of our items.
Infinity is our Top-Shelf, artisanal concentrate line. It’s built on the “fire in = fire out” principle that’s served true concentrate heads so well for so long. Their live BHO concentrates are some of the best in the state, hands down. Our extraction specialists make all different kinds of cured and live products, in every texture imaginable.
What can you tell us about the process used to create Panda Fruits products?
We use many interesting and unique extraction and infusion techniques, for example:
To make our Full Extract Cannabis Oil Panda Fruits Gummies we use a technique called “Supercritical Ethanol Percolation” to extract our FECO from ground plant material.
In the case of our Fast Acting NANO gummies, we use a method known as Nano-emulsification to reduce the particle size of our THC oil, making it more readily available to your system.
What sets Panda Fruits apart from other edibles in the space?
Quality and reliability. The fact that we flavor and color our gummies with real fruit puree sets us apart from almost all the competition in the state, beyond that our gummies are formulated to keep their flavor and texture throughout their shelf life, instead of arriving melted, soggy or dried out.
You have two chocolate lines, Panda and Medusa – what makes each unique?
Panda is about using top-shelf ingredients to reinvigorate flavor profiles we all know and love.
Medusa is about stepping out of the realm of the familiar and exploring new, bold and complex flavor profiles. Because of the large inclusions such as candied orange peels and hazelnut noisettes, Medusa Bars are made entirely by hand, using traditional techniques.
What is the biggest obstacle you face in a manufacturing facility like this?
What people are facing across all industries right now: supply chain delays.
How did you find your way to working with cannabis?
Witnessing the profound ability of cannabis to ease the physical and emotional pain that often afflicts those receiving end-of-life care. Cannabis has an amazing ability to deflect attention away from pain and back into the moment. This makes a huge difference when it comes to being able to be present and even find some enjoyment during a difficult and draining part of life.
I found, in particular, that gourmet or even just very tasty edibles can help take away the “medical chill” of using cannabis to control pain. So much of cannabis is in the mind, so making the ingestion of your medicine something enjoyable, even indulgent can help set the stage for the therapeutic experience.
What does medical marijuana mean to you?
Medical Marijuana should mean that the floodgates are open to the legitimate, clinical study of the endocannabinoid system. It should mean the university-funded characterization of all compounds found in the cannabis plant with open reference data. I think that, eventually, it will come to mean those things, but we’re not there yet.
The endocannabinoid system has the potential to be (among other things) the missing link between modern neuroscience and some homeopathic traditions. It could possibly explain a lot of the “squishiness” of our physio-chemistry and likely plays a major role in our body’s almost inexplicable ability to maintain homeostasis.
What lessons have you learned from day 1 to now?
Gratitude. Sept 5th marks 3 years since I was brought in on this project. It’s been a wild ride, with difficult losses, but seeing the company and the people around me grow has been life-changing. I’m more grateful for the process now, I appreciate the time I spend with others more.
What makes you passionate about cannabis?
Curiosity. The way the cannabis plant interacts with our own internal signaling systems is fascinating. It’s a new frontier. I believe the way we view the role of the endocannabinoid system in maintaining homeostasis and a healthy immune system will be completely different 30 years from now.
In your opinion, what’s the best way to consume cannabis?
I think a strong edible high is more intense and fun than smoking or taking dabs, but I find dabs to be more relaxing and are often what I’m in the mood for. If you’re going to take a high dose of edibles you need to block out some time, set yourself up with cheese puffs and legos, and strap in.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
Only approaching a situation with love lets you see all the options available to you.
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